Dying declarations

DYING DECLARATIONS. When a man has received a mortal wound or other injury, by which he is in imminent danger of dying, and believes that he must die, and afterwards does die, the statements he makes as to the manner in which he received such injury, and the person who committed it, are called his dying declarations.
     2. These declarations are received in evidence against the person thus accused, on the ground that the party making them can have no motive but to tell the truth. The following lines have been put into the mouth of such a man:

     Have I not hideous Death before my view,
     Retaining but a quantity of life,
     Which bleeds away, even as a form of wax
     Resolveth from his figure 'gainst the fire ?
     What in the world should make me now deceive,
     Since I must lose the use of all deceit?
     Why then should I be false, since it is true
     That I must die here, and live hence by truth.

See Death; Deathbed or dying declarations; Declarations.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
The defence had also questioned the inconsistencies in the three dying declarations given by the victim before she succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital.
Addressing the contention that Vandana had made four dying declarations which were inconsistent and could not be relied upon, the court said: "When the (trial) court is satisfied that the dying declaration is voluntary, not tainted by tutoring or animosity, and is not a product of the imagination of the declarant, in that event there is no impediment in convicting the accused on the basis of such dying declaration." "When there are multiple dying declarations, each dying declaration has to be separately assessed and evaluated on its own merit as to its evidentiary value and one cannot be rejected because of certain variation in the other," the judges said, offering a precedent for cases in which there is more than one dying declaration.
One policy mentioned "dying declarations." Multiple forms of dying declarations are accepted in courts of law.
First, the Court acknowledged the longstanding exception to the hearsay rule for dying declarations. (34) Conceding that they may be testimonial, the Court declined to make an explicit exception to the application of the Confrontation Clause for dying declarations in Crawford.
6) The difficulty in containing abortion in the early to mid 1800s was due to the fact that there were no corpses, no autopsies, few if any witnesses, second-hand declarations, dying declarations, etc.
"Of the doctrines that authorize the admission of special classes of hearsay, the doctrine relating to dying declarations is the most mystical in its theory and traditionally among the most arbitrary in its limitations." (1)
Reagan, "'About to Meet Her Maker': Women, Doctors, Dying Declarations, and the State's Investigation of Abortion, Chicago, 1867-1940," Journal of American History 77 (March 1991): 1248.
Dying declarations; notes from a hospice volunteer.
First, there is no historical evidence that the framers were concerned about declarants who realized their statements might make it to court while they stayed home, and to the extent that English law of the late 18th Century admitted dying declarations, i.e., accusatory assertions from crime victims often uttered with the express purpose of evidentiary use, the historical evidence is to the contrary.
For example, the ruling expressly leaves open the question of whether a "dying declaration" could be used: "[M]any dying declarations may not be testimonial.
Those with a hearty appetite for the whiz of bullets, the bang of artillery, dying declarations, famous last words, and eyewitness accounts of the face of battle will not be disappointed.
Alexander Stewart Murrow cruelly threatened the dying Jennie Young that he would not treat her for septic poisoning if she did not tell him who had performed her operation.(74) Similar pressure was presumably applied to Winnifred Lewis because her inquest jury was told that her statement was not made voluntarily.(75) When Sarah Robins was dying at Vancouver General Hospital in 1919 the examining physician went so far as to stimulate her with drugs to acquire a declaration that would protect the hospital staff.(76) Such dying declarations had special force in court, having the status of sworn testimony.